Google Hands Free iOS app offers truly contactless payment

While Apple Pay is pretty darned amazing, you still have to either pull your iPhone out of your pocket and do that double tap of the home button, or twiddle with the button on your Apple Watch. That can be really a challenge if you're juggling bags, kids, or just have your hands full with that batch of lattes you just picked up for the crew in the office. Well, Google is testing a new service called Google Hands Free in the south San Francisco Bay Area, and iPhone users in the area can give the app and service a try today at a limited number of locations.

Whether your iPhone is sitting in your backpack or back pocket, you don't need to touch it. You just say "I'll pay with Google" to the person at the checkout, give them your initials, and they use the initials and a photo that you've provided to the app to verify who you are. With a click on their end, the charge is securely processed. 

Google says it's starting to experiment with the use of in-store cameras for visual verification, so the next step will be verification without a need for providing your initials. According to the Hands Free web page, "The Hands Free app uses Bluetooth low energy, WiFi, location services, and other sensors on your phone to detect whether you are near a participating store. This enables you to pay hands-free, without fumbling with your phone or opening the Hands Free app."

It's a pretty cool use of technology, and it works on iOS and Android phones. If any Apple World Today readers can give this a try and let us know how it works, we'd love to hear from you.